[Feedback] Seeking clarity about the course in the long run

I know this launches in mid-June, but I was trying to clarify what Complete 2D Game Artist pertains to in regards to what the sections will cover.

The description says: Make 2D assets from scratch: icons, sprites, characters, backgrounds, layers, textures, concept sketches, billboards etc

At first glance ‘icons’ would make most think of the icon shortcut you click to launch the game so I was surprised to find us making Emoticon icons instead. Sprites and characters is another area of confusion for me. Sprites I know are the characters, objects, etc that you create to populate your games with. With sprites I know we animate them for idle, walking, and attacking and I know that the perspective of the game adds a challenge to the sprites (ie use similar yet different methods for making sprites for a Mario clone, Metroid clone, R-Type clone, top-down RPG, platformer, isometric rpg, and so on). Then I saw characters and wondered if it was referring to the larger Street Fighter like game characters or font characters as I know it is a normal practice to create PNG/BMP for custom fonts in games.

Backgrounds are fairly straight forward, but I was curious if it was going to cover the main background methods for games. How to do a background set up for parallax scrolling a la Mega Man X, Animated backgrounds (if there is waterfalls or such), static backgrounds. Is the course also going to cover tile maps?

Layers, I figured either meant Gimp layers or layered images so this was fairly straight forward.

Textures confused me too as I think 3D modeling when I read that. Unless it means texturing, making the 2D art look realistic instead of flat, giving it shading to mimic shape and lighting.

Concept art makes sense and is a perfect time to have a Wacom tablet (like my Bamboo Splash).

Billboards I hope means in-game billboards (which gives some fun too as they can be both static and animated depending on size) and not making art for the highway billboards.

I think I might be able to help answer some of this for you, as I try to keep tabs on all the latest news, chats, announcements, AMAs, and general gossip about the courses and the community. While you could theoretically use the principles taught in this course for anything, a large focus on the course is in 2d raster art as it relates to game development so some of the terminology in the description is specific to that context.

Icons: Generally what’s meant here is user interface (UI) icons. Like when you click on a picture of a building to see your house in Sims, or when you hover over an enemy with the mouse and it turns into a little sword. Or when you go to sell items, and you click the little hand icon with the bag of stuff. Or even when you select the male and female symbols when deciding on the gender when deciding a character. That sort of thing. They certainly CAN be the icons you use for your operating system to represent your game, but I don’t believe that was the specific intent.

Characters: I believe this is just referring to a specific application of complex and useful sprites that you will learn… and that’s commonly requested… designing sprites of characters, such as heroes, monsters, NPCs, that sort of thing. I’m hoping this will also include vehicles, but generally speaking, if you can make a character then vehicles should be easy. And most other things.

Backgrounds: The background refers to all kinds of static scenery imagery. While I don’t think the specific applications you mentioned will be covered,they can certainly be recommended now while it’s all under development. Most of what you’re asking for is just a particular application of animation as it relates to 2d art. Although some amount of 2d animation is likely to be covered (or at least discussed), the course focuses primarily on GIMP and not animation software. I expect you will still be able to implement these things yourself by the time the course is complete, or at least have a much better idea of how to do so.

Tiles: Kind of the same deal here. I’m pretty sure the actual making of a tile map will not be covered, especially in regards to all the math and programming involved in that, but the making of tiles is likely to be included in the course. And even if it’s not, you’ll have the knowledge necessary to make tiles yourself once the course is complete. (You can almost kind of start after the first section…)

Textures: This is the main one I wanted to answer about because it’s the one I feel most confident in. Textures specifically refers to the tile-like textures used for 3d modeling. I’ve specifically asked about this and was told the course will be covering it. I’m hoping it will also cover advanced texturing topics like terrain textures, particle textures, normal maps, etc, since I know Michael knows a lot about this, but I don’t know at this point. But yeah, it’s the texturing as it relates to making texture assets for 3d models.

Billboards: I don’t know if this is a Unity-specific term or not, but I’m pretty sure this is meant in the context of Unity game development, and is basically another commonly used kind of sprite. In this case, it refers to a sprite that always faces the camera, so even when you look at it from different angles in 3d space, it always looks the same. This is commonly used for things like power-ups, waypoint markers, health bars, and such things.

I see. Your reply makes me feel like the title of the course is misleading then as animation and several of my points are all things a 2D game artist does.If the course is only focusing on a minor subset of it, then it technically isn’t “The Complete 2D Game Artist” in my opinion.

I’m aware Gimp may not do animations as “pretty” as Photoshop or other animation apps, but it is still possible to do animations with Gimp.

Animation done with 3 layers (frames):

Animation with five layers (frames):

Same animation with tweaked delays

In the Discord disucssion groups, Michael Bridges made a recent comment related to this subject: “We’ll see how big the GIMP course ends up first we have quite a large syllabus lined up for it , IF we do 2D animation it is likely to be a separate course at the moment.”

Okay, thanks for clearing this up for me. Sounds like the course is more aimed at 2D static game art for Unity rather than complete 2D game artist. I can’t speak for others, but the way I view it, the title as it stands now is misleading. I view it as being equivalent to me starting a course called Complete C++ Programmer and then deciding to skip classes, templates, or STL.

Now I understand and acknowledge this is their course and they can name it whatever they want and decide to put whatever they want into it. I’m just saying that, for me, as the course stands now, and as you have explained it to me, my interest in the course has diminished quite a bit.

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